From Kashmiri rogan josh to Kerala’s ishtew, Kolkata’s sandesh to Mumbai’s pav bhaji, this list of 74 iconic Indian recipes will keep you busy in the kitchen for weeks to come. Perfect your favourite dishes, or experiment with something you haven’t tried before. Have fun with it, because hey, that’s what it means to be free, right?

Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 

Akki roti

Also known as akki otti, this iconic breakfast dish from Coorg is served with ellu pajji, a sesame seed chutney. The flatbread, made from rice and rice flour, is very versatile though and can also be had with spicy pandi (pork) curry, kummu (mushroom) curry and even scrambled eggs. Recipe here

Aloo gobi

Basic is beautiful when it comes to this potato and cauliflower Indian staple that’s chomped with rice or chapati. Recipe here.

Aloo Paratha

The everyday tuber met the quotidian paratha and it was a marriage made in heaven. From breakfasts to a quick bite in a dhaba or the all-day soul nourishing snack, a paratha stuffed with a spice potato mix, slathered in butter, with a side of yogurt and pickle is sometimes the only pick-me-up required. Recipe here 

Amritsari Fish Tikka 

Crisp, golden-brown on the outside and pillowy soft on the inside, Amritsari machhi gives you a sense of tasting clouds. The fish is coated with gram flour, ajwain and dry-roast spices before it’s deep-fried. And while you may not be able to enjoy the fish in one of Amritsar’s dhabas, you can always make it at home. Recipe here. 

Aviyal 

Legend has it that this dish was created when King Mahabali had some unexpected visitors and the royal kitchen threw this simple recipe of chopped vegetables and coconut together. Today, aviyal is an essential dish in a Kerala sadya. Here’s how you can master it at home. Recipe here 

Baigun Bhaja

A go-to comfort food for Bengalis, this is one of the easiest dishes to make. While it’s even made with a coating of rice flour, Bengalis traditionally fry it in mustard oil. Pair it with some dal rice or roti, and you’ll have a filling meal. Recipe here

Bamboo Shoot Fry 

Bamboo shoot is not only delicious but it’s also super healthy. It’s low cal, low fat and high in fibre. To make this Manipuri dish you’ll need to remove the hard exterior of the bamboo plant, but that’s about the only hard part! Recipe here

Basundi

Basundi is a Gujarati sweet dish starring sweet thickened milk that is flavoured with cardamom and nutmeg. Top it up with dry fruits! Recipe here

Besan Chilla

These spiced gram flour pancakes are super easy to put together and make for a healthy breakfast or evening snack. Find the recipe here

Bisi bele bath

Bisi bele bath is a traditional dish from Karnataka and is made without any garlic or onions. “Bisi” means hot, “bele” means lentils and “bath” means semi solid which indicates that it is a dish that is a combination of rice, lentils and vegetables and tastes best when served hot. Recipe here 

Butter Chicken 

Did you know that India’s much-loved dish was created just to save the tandoori chicken from drying out? In the 1920s Kundal Lal Gujral, the owner of a dhaba in Peshawar’s Gora Bazaar, tossed the day’s leftover tandoor chicken with tomatoes, butter, spices and cream, and thus was born the rich and creamy dish. After Partition, Gujral travelled to Delhi with the butter chicken in tow, and we can’t thank him enough for it. Recipe here. 

Chana madra

A hot plate of this chickpea dish goes so well with a cool Himachali evening. No wonder it is very popular in that part of the country. Usually served as part of a Himachali dham, a festive thali-style meal, this chickpea curry is also eaten along with steamed rice and a side of kachumbar salad. Recipe here

Chenna Poda 

Prepared using kneaded homemade paneer mixed with goodies such as cashew, raisins and sugar, it is baked till it is nice and caramelised on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. It is incredibly popular in Odisha. Recipe here

Chicken Chettinad

South Indian recipes to try at home- Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 
Chicken Chettinad. Photo: PIFood / Alamy Stock Photo

The mercantile history of the Chettiar community and their contact with traders from around the world is reflected in the food they eat. Spices, ingredients and cooking techniques from far corners of the world found their ways into everyday homes. A bouquet of spices forms the base masala in this chicken preparation and fresh coconut and aromatics like ginger and coriander leaves add to the palate. Recipe here

Chicken 65

This one dish can be found at an upscale bar, a posh restaurant and a street side stall. The deep-fried chicken is said to have originated at Chennai’s Buhari Hotel. There are some bizarre theories as to why the dish was named Chicken 65. Some say the chicken is marinated for 65 days, others believe it’s made with 65 ingredients or chillies. However, the true story is that the chicken was added to the menu of the restaurant in 1965. It’s made by marinating chicken in multiple spices such as ginger, garlic, red chilli and vinegar before it’s fried crisp. Recipe here. 

Chicken Cafreal 

Bring your feni to the table, this Goan dish makes the perfect Sunday lunch served with rice or poee. It’s famous for its gorgeous green masala, a recipe all Goan families have their special ways of making. Recipe here

Chhole Bhature

A dish that’s loved equally across India and Pakistan, this one’s not for the weight watchers. Greasy and flavourful, Chhole Bhature are a great brunch option for Sundays. You need to soak the chickpeas for only about three hours, perfect for days when you’re out of ideas. Chef Kunal Kapoor has a short recipe video here.

Dal baati

Dal baati is a savoury dish from Rajasthan. What is a baati, you ask?  It is a hard baked dough ball made of wheat. To eat it, you crush the bati coarsely, add dal and then top it up with ghee. Recipe here

Dahi bhalla

This yoghurt-vada snack is so loved that it is called by many names around India. Irresistible whether eaten at a festive occasion or a street side stall. Recipe here.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhni, anyone? Photo: Subodh Sathe/Alamy - Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 
Dal Makhni, anyone? Photo: Subodh Sathe/Alamy

A combination of black urad dal and rajma beans or kidney beans, Dal Makhni is slow cooked in a pot. The best part without any doubt is the malai or cream that adds to the richness of the dish. Recipe here

Dhokla 

Everything is “saru che!” with some dhokla. A popular and healthy Gujarati snack, the khaman dhokla is made of fermented rice flour or chickpea batter and enjoyed with spicy green and tangy tamarind chutney. There are also so many ways in which dhokla can be made, like also with rava and daliya. Recipes here

Dosa

Dosa is a famous dish that originated in South India but has now spread to the different parts of India. While traditionally made with fermented rice, dosa can also be made with rava and rice powder. Dosa on its own can be quite dry so have it with some coconut chutney and sambhar to elevate the taste. Recipe here

Dum Aloo 

If you’re in Bengal, rarely would you find a phuckha stall that doesn’t also sell some version of a spicy aloo dum, even though it has its roots in Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. It’s also one of those vegetarian dishes you’re bound to spot at a wedding. It’s made with baby potatoes and a number of spices. Those who don’t go for second helpings of this flavoursome dish are a rare species. Recipe here

Eromba

Eromba is a popular Manipuri dish that’s made with boiled veggies, ngari (fermented fish) and chillies. Add a hearty amount of bamboo shoot to get those delicious authentic flavours. Recipe here

Gaajar ka Halwa

Bollywood’s favourite dessert is also deceptively easy to make. And never mind the ghee and the sugar, you can trick yourself into believing it has some health benefits, what with all those carrots. No one state or region can claim rights to this dish that’s popular across the country. Here’s Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe.

Galawati Kebab

Lucknow’s most famous culinary icon was born out of an old nawab’s need to enjoy his kebabs, so what if he had no teeth. The galawati kabab is not a quick fix snack. This one requires plenty of pounding, blending and yet a delicate balance of spices. The odds of getting it right on the first go are slim. But if you’re missing these soft, succulent kebabs, why not take a crack? Here’s a recipe from Lucknow’s very own Ranveer Brar.

Goan fish curry

Owing to its coastal location, Goa’s cuisine consists of ingredients grown alongside the shore: rice, seafood, coconut and a host of local spices. This Goan fish curry is a  recipe that features most of these elements—it’s a coconut-based staple food usually eaten with rice. Recipe here

Gulab jamun

Are you a gulab jamun with an ice cream person? Or a cold gulab jamun person? No matter which team you’re on, you’ll love this easy, fuss-free recipe. It calls for basic ingredients at home like milk and sugar. Recipe here

Iddiyappam

Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 
Iddiappam with chicken stew. Photo: Daniel Scheter

From Kerala’s Syrian christians, to Tamil Nadu muslims and Sri Lankans, everyone enjoys the iddiyappam— also known as string hoppers. The dish, known by different names, is also popular in Malaysia and Indonesia. Enjoy it with chicken ishtew or mop it up with a Kerala egg roast—either way, you’ll love it. Recipe here

Idli 

Fun fact: Earlier this year, the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL) announced that it had developed ‘space idlis’ with a chutney and sambhar powder for astronauts as part of Gaganyaan, India’s first manned space mission. Now you need not have to go to space to get idlis, but this recipe will get you over the moon. Recipe here

Ilish Bhapa

Hilsa, the pride of the Bengali table, finds a perfect showcase in this piquant mustard gravy. The rich, oily sweetness of the fish is balanced by the sharpness of mustard and heat of green chilli. The slow steam cooking enhances the flavours and creates a sensory treat that will drive all your monsoon blues away. Recipe here.

Ishtew

Chicken stew with appam is a traditional Christmas breakfast in Kerala. It’s also relished on Easter with appams and on other special occasions, through the year. Recipe here.

Jadoh

Kadhi chawal

Punjab brings its A-game for comfort food on a rainy day with the classic kadhi chawal, with the crunch of pakora in the creamy gravy. Recipe here.

Kakori Kebab

Legend has it that kakori kebabs were invented because a British official couldn’t chew on the seekh kebab. Nawab Syed Mohammad Haider Kazmi, a local lord in Lucknow, had arranged a party for one of his British accomplices. The Nawab offered the best of Awadhi cuisine, when the British official made a snide remark about the chewy texture of the seekh kebabs. The offended Nawab immediately ordered his cooks to prepare a softer version. They obliged by creating this delicious kebab that dissolves in your mouth in just seconds. Recipe here. 

Kerala Style Beef Fry or Erechi Ularthiyathu

This recipe for slow roasted beef with coconut and curry leaves is lip smackingly good. Erechi Ularthiyathu is typically enjoyed with a flaky Malabar parotta. We recommend pairing it with red rice and kachimoru, a spiced yoghurt curry, to allow the flavours of this delicious dish to truly come alive. Recipe here 

Khichadi

As enticing as the other dishes on this list are, you can’t deny the power and comfort of a hot bowl of khichadi. A meal to solve hunger pangs, homesickness, stomach aches and colds, the khichdi grew in popularity in 2017, when the government of India announced it plans to label it the national dish of India. Try it for yourself with this simple preparation. Recipe here 

Kolhapuri Mutton

One of Maharashtra’s most popular dishes can get quite intense with its heat and flavour. There are two different masalas you must prep before you get down to the gravy. Kolhapuri Mutton is best paired with a rice bhakri (flatbread) or a vade—a mildly spiced puri. Smash an onion, squeeze some lime and you have yourself an assal Marathi meal. Check the recipe here.

Kurkure Bhindi 

Bhindi tastes good no matter how you prepare it, but this crunchy version is extra delicious. Long slices of bhindi are coated with gram flour and spices and then dropped in hot oil. Recipe here.

Laal Maas

Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 
Laal Maas FTW! Photo: Simon Reddy / Alamy Stock Photo

This rather spartan preparation was once the staple of hunting parties of Rajasthan royalty. In an earlier time, this was made with game meat. Today, it’s mostly lamb or goat. Heavy on spice and oil, this one is great for a Sunday lunch on a rainy day. Check the step-by-step recipe here

Litti chokha

A stuffed dough ball paired with a delicious eggplant side, litti chokha is a traditional Bihari recipe that dates back to the kingdom of Magadha in Southern Bihar. Enjoy this slice of history at home with these simple instructions. Recipe here

Hyderabadi biryani

Biryani is rice cooked with meat in layers sealed with dough on very low heat, also known as dum. Biryani gets its unique taste and influences from the Mughals. Even though it takes about an hour to make, it is definitely worth it! Hyderabadi chicken biryani is made with rice, chicken, and a whole lot of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and peppercorns. Recipe here

Malpua

One of India’s oldest dishes, the malpua is more than 3,000 years old. It looks like a pancake and is made during Holi and Eid. This malpua is a deep fried sweet, flavoured with crushed fennel seeds and usually served with rabri. Recipe here

Masor Tenga

Flavourful and fishy – just the way we like it! This Assamese dish is a tangy fish curry that’s eaten with rice. “Tenga” means sour in Assamese. The flavour usually comes from lime or raw mango and loads of tomatoes. Recipe here

Meen Moilee 

Enjoy this classic Syrian christian recipe from Kerala this weekend. The fragrant fish curry  is believed to have evolved from the state’s Portuguese traders. This explains the mild flavouring of the dish, a departure from the cuisine signature tastes. Taste notwithstanding, simply the aroma and the delicious milky colour will be enough to convince you to try the dish over and over again. Recipe here 

Misal Pav

A much-loved Maharashtrian fiery snack, the misal pav is a combination of potatoes, sprouts, spiced curry and farsan — topped with onions and cilantro and served with pav. Recipe here

Momos

Momos have traversed a long way, from Lhasa in Tibet to Nepal with Tibetan traders and refugees during the 17th Century. Today, the steamed dish of rice dough stuffed with juicy minced beef, pork, chicken or vegetables has become a ubiquitous part of Indian street food. Recipe here.

Moong Dal Halwa

Made with India’s all time favourite lentil—moong dal—this halwa is a treat prepared in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It’s typically enjoyed during cold winters and is best served hot. Recipe here 

Mysore pak

Said to have originated between the 17th and 18th Century, Mysore pak is also known as the ‘royal sweet’. The head cook of the Mysore Palace, Kakasura Madappa decided to add a set of basic ingredients like sugar, gram flour and ghee as a part of an unusual experiment and ended up making the Mysore pak that we all know and love today. Recipe here

Naga pork curry

Bamboo shoots, king chilli and pork make this simple dish from Nagaland the perfect accompaniment to a plateful of fluffy rice. Recipe here.

Neer Dosa 

A South Indian delicacy, neer dosa translates to ‘water dosa’ in Tulu due to its thin batter, unlike the one used for regular dosa. The result of this watery rice mixture is a fluffy, pillowy pancake that melts in your mouth. Recipe here.

Pahadi chicken 

The chicken is tender from having been slow cooked in a thick yoghurt-based sauce and the coriander seeds, bits of cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds that form the base notes make this an incredibly fragrant and flavourful dish. Its origins are in Himachal Pradesh’s Pahadi cuisine.The dish is just as tasty when eaten with naan or steamed rice. Recipe here

Pandi Curry

This Coorgi pork (pandi) curry, a centrepiece of Kodava culinary culture goes back to the community’s tradition of foraging and hunting in the surrounding hills. Wild boar feasts bookended most festivals and till date, the love for pork continues to hold. The pandi curry slow cooked with locally grown pepper and kachampulli is a layered medley of flavours. Recipe here

Pani Puri 

Call it pani puri, gol gappa or puchka, the debate over which one from which city is better will never end, with residents of each always vouching for their own. The mere thought of this street food makes our mouths water and gets us craving for a few. Or more. Recipe here

Pav Bhaji 

This classic Mumbai recipe is incomplete without generous dollops of butter. What originated in the city as a cheap and easy way to feed its mill workers has now become a much imitated and re-invented dish across fine dining establishments in India, London and New York City. How can you resist its buttery goodness? Recipe here 

Pork vindaloo

Inherited from the Portuguese, fused with indian spices and transported to British curry houses, the vindaloo is a dish with a global resonance. The special flavours imparted by Goan toddy vinegar and dried Kashmiri red chillies added to the existing European recipe for meat cooked with wine and herbs. And so was born a Goan speciality with its signature blend of heat, spice and tartness. Recipe here

Pulihora 

Andhra Pulihora is basically rice flavoured with a tamarind paste. The recipe is easy enough for beginners but the trick is to leave it standing for two hours to get a lovely blend of flavours. Recipe here.

Pyaaz Kachori

To what lengths would you go for a pyaaz kachori? A few years ago, a pilot allegedly refused a last-minute change in her flight rota because she was getting some pyaaz kachoris delivered at Jodhpur airport. She got suspended, but she also got her kachoris. Rajasthan’s famous deep-fried snack has its own fan base. It’s not easy to make, but if you’re not heading to Jaipur or Jodhpur any time soon, you have enough time to get it right. Here’s a recipe.

Railway Mutton Curry

The name may suggest a pan-India, border-free identity, but West Bengal can lay claim to the Railway Mutton Curry. The dish is said to be derived from the Bengali Kosha Mangsho, that was tempered down with some coconut milk and served to a British officer on a train. The flavour hit the spot and soon, the mutton curry became a permanent fixture on the Frontier Mail (but only on First Class). The Raj is over, but the curry lingers. Here’s how to make it at home

Rajma Chawal

All things comfort! This must-have combination of delicately flavoured rajma and rice is also a superb source of proteins and fibre. Recipe here

Rasam

South India’s essential, also called Chaaru in Telugu and Saaru in Kannada, is a spicy-sweet-sour curry served with rice. Recipe here

Rosogolla 

This syrupy ball-shaped mithai that resembles dumplings is made of chenna (cheese curd) or semolina (suji) dough and soaked in sugar syrup, often flavoured with some cardamom seeds. There are several varieties of baked rosogolla and nolen gud rosogolla—you can’t help but devour them all by the dozen. The Bengali  rosogolla differs quite a bit from the Odia rasagola in terms of technique, flavour and shape. Recipe here for milk-bases rosogolla and here for semolina

Rogan Josh 

Deep red with Kashmiri chillies and thickened with just a little bit of yoghurt, rogan josh is a piquant and rich lamb curry straight from the valleys of Kashmir. Recipe here. 

Sabudana Khichadi

Sabudana Khichdi makes the perfect light, nutritious breakfast. Usually flavoured with peanuts, chillies, cumin and curry leaves, this is a regular in Maharashtrian households as well as those in Madhya Pradesh. Recipe here.

Sambhar

The heart of a south Indian breakfast, sambhar can make or break your idli- and dosa-eating pleasure. Variations are endless, from Udipi-style to distinctive Tamil, Andhra and Keralite preparations. Tamil Brahmin recipe here.

Sandesh

Indian recipes to try this Independence Day 
Butterscotch sandesh at Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick Sweets. Photo: Raymond Patrick

So native are these milk sweets to Bengali culture that they were declared “essential” during the initial lockdown across the state. They come in a number of designs, flavours like rose and pista and with varieties in gud. However, these chenna sweetmeats please our palates in any form or shape. Recipe here

Sarson da saag

This is a dish redolent of winter in Punjab. Sarson da saag is traditionally cooked on a coalfire with seasonal greens like mustard (sarson) and bathua (pigweed) and served with makki ki roti, butter and a piece of jaggery on the side. This rustic meal reflects the bounty of the land and the primacy of the agricultural economy. Recipe here 

Seviyan kheer
This concoction of vermicelli and thickened milk is a festive favourite in many parts of the country, even if they have different names and iterations for the dessert. The kheer is thick and sweet, the vermicelli adds texture and the cloves and sprinkle of saffron lend a touch of magic to the dish. Recipe here.   

Tandoori Chicken

No list of iconic Indian dishes is complete without the mention of tandoori chicken. Simply put, it’s a roasted chicken marinated in yogurt and spices in a tandoor. Drooling? Find the recipe here

Tehri

Hugely popular in Uttar Pradesh, this flavourful dish or rice and vegetables is somewhere between a pulao and a biryani. Aside from Basmati, the dish’s hero ingredients include cauliflower, potatoes, string beans, peas and carrots. Throw all of them into a pot to make this tasty and nutritious quick and simple meal. Recipe here. 

Thepla

It’s hard to imagine Indian families travelling without a pack of theplas in their carry ons. A Gujarati specialty, this soft flatbread can be enjoyed as a snack, for breakfast or even as a substitute for rotis. Make it simple with some cumin seeds or even healthier with some methi, you’ll enjoy it either way. Recipe here  

Thukpa

This Tibetean noodle soup is wholesome and warming on a cold rainy day. Popular in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Kalimpong and parts of Arunachal Pradesh, thukpa is a hearty meal in itself. Recipe here

Undhiyu

A rich vegetable dish, it’s one of the best known (and most delicious) dishes of Gujarati cuisine. The prep work, which involves frying several vegetables in batches, takes a great amount of time and patience, but the final product makes it all worth the effort. It’s traditionally served during Uttarayan and is a common feature at weddings. Recipe here

Zunka Bhakri

Maharashtra’s spicy besan preparation is typically served with  bhakri. Best with chopped onions and mirchi thecha! Recipe here

 

74 iconic Indian recipes to try out at home | Condé Nast Traveller India | India

Post navigation


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: